I cannot believe I’m almost finished with my novel. I started writing it in March of this year, so if I meet my Halloween deadline to completely finish editing it, this project will have only taken me a grand total of eight months from concept to publication! I finished writing it, and now have to go through the editing process. Many people groan about the editing process, but my least favorite part is getting the first draft out. Every day is a struggle to force myself to get words written. Thank goodness freelance work was light over the summer and it enabled me to focus more on my writing. I even used BOTH Camp Nanowrimo months (April & July) to get most of the book written (I don’t think I would have gotten it done otherwise).
I have a personal goal to put a book out every year, and when I began this year I had no idea this year’s book would be a full-fledged novel. I joined 12×12 to motivate me toward a picture book goal… but my picture books have been put on the back burner since this novel has risen to the surface. — Oh, man. And I actually plan this to be a series, so who knows – I might end up putting picture books on the back burner for a little while longer (unless I get the urge to juggle, which is possible).
This is just one of those projects I HAD to get out of my system. I felt like it was something I needed to get out NOW. I can’t explain it. There was a real sense of urgency while going through the writing process. It was a story that’s been brewing inside me for probably a decade, and for the past few years has been bubbling more and more to the surface. Finally in March the concept became crystal clear for the first time and I started scribbling down all the thoughts in my head, forming the final book idea.
Writing this book really felt like opening a shaken pop can. Ka-boom! Finally I was able to spill out ideas that have been brewing in my head for almost a decade. I was thrilled to finally have a good concept that would allow me to express these thoughts and ideas without really saying it’s what I believe – it’s just a collection of ideas I have. That’s the joy of writing fiction – it’s a wonderful form of creative expression.
What I find very interesting is that I started writing this book when I began therapy this year. This book has become my creative outlet – a way to face my own feelings of life and death, good, evil, and one’s purpose. I lost my dad over a year ago, two days before my birthday. There was no funeral and no memorial service – all per his wishes. I’ve had a very hard time not knowing how to form any sense of closure, and I think writing this book became my own way of doing that for myself. It’s no mistake that I used my dad’s name in the book (“Bob”), and I’m dedicating it to him as well, as even more of a way to form that sense of closure. But even as the title suggests, I don’t know if I ever will truly feel “closure” – I think with grief you are always in that state of “in-between.” That person who died will always be a part of you, and I like to believe the person you miss is never truly gone at all. I like to believe it’s merely another state of existence that we human beings, trapped in our bodies, are unable to comprehend until we join our fellow spirits and experience it for ourselves. Even then, I like to think we continue to explore for answers.
Perhaps our soul’s existence is a never ending journey. I like to imagine that even in death there is conflict and choice. Otherwise I think it would be very boring.
Still in the process of deciding whether this book will be traditionally published or indie published. I’ll probably decide after I go to the SCBWI Northern Ohio Regional Conference this September.